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Expanding Wilds

Most modern online slots feature a Wild symbol of some sort: a special bonus symbol that substitutes for all other symbols to help form winning combinations.

With technology and graphics improving, however, slots developers are able to introduce new and exciting features to their games. Step forward, the Expanding Wild.

Find the best slots with Expanding Wilds at

  • Boost your bankroll with big Wilds that cover the whole reel
  • Enjoy massive wins during Free Spins features
  • Play Expanding Wilds slots and work through a deposit bonus

What are Expanding Wilds?

Expanding Wilds are single substituting symbols that expand to fill a whole reel when they appear. Typically they will expand up or down depending on where they land.

If they hit the right reel, e.g. Reel 1 where they can be most effective, you can bag some serious wins. You'll also be treated to some cool animation as you watch the coin wins counter ticking upwards.

Expanding Wilds can appear in the base game, or as a special feature in a Free Spins round, but often they will act like regular Wilds:

  • Substitute for all regular symbols except bonuses and Scatters
  • Multiply winning combinations by 2x or higher

How Do They Work?

Expanding Wilds are essentially bonus Wilds that can multiply to occupy more than one space. As they 'expand' up or down, they fill the whole reel to give the player three Wilds to play with. If you hit three Wilds on the right reel you can seriously increase your bankroll. Think of them like Stacked Wilds that only require one Wild to trigger the feature.

As they can reward big wins, Expanding Wilds tend to feature in slots that have high volatility. As such, you might not see an Expanding Wild for a while, then one or two will land and you'll bag a seriously big win.

Finding Expanding Wilds Slots

Many developers have incorporated Expanding Wilds into their slots, as technology improves on both online and mobile platforms.

Generally, they work the same: taking over a whole reel to complete multiple winning combos. However, each developer has their own unique take on the feature. Let's take a look at a few popular Expanding Wild variants.

  • Base Game Expanding Wilds
  • Rock On (Rival Gaming)

While some slots feature Expanding Wilds as an extra symbol, in some volatile games the Expanding Wild is the Wild.

Rivals' music-themed Rock On slot features a guitar icon which fills the whole reel when it appears on the screen. A multiplier of 2x is also attached to any win it helps form.

Rival's Gushers Gold also features Expanding Wilds that appear on Reels 1, 3 and 5 only. The fact that they only appear on three reels is cancelled out by them expanding to award big potential wins.

Viaden also offers a popular online slot, Treasure Trove, which features an Expanding Wild that appears on the middle three reels.

  • Themed Slots/Film Tie-Ins
  • The Dark Knight Rises (Microgaming)

Where slots feature 3D animation or a film clip from a Hollywood movie, expanding Wilds can really improve the whole gaming experience.

Microgaming's excellent Batman tie-in, The Dark Knight Rises, is a case in point. Played over five reels and with 243 paylines, the game features a free spins bonus round.

But it's the Expanding Wild - which appears on the central reel only - which can complete big pays. It shows that Expanding Wilds aren't just reserved for 5-reel, 30 payline slots.

  • Bonus Spins Expanding Wilds
  • Captain America (Playtech)

Comic-themed slots always seem to contain at least one feature which boosts the player's wins. In Captain America's case, inspired by the popular Marvel comicbook and now film franchise, a free spins feature includes two separate Expanding Wilds: Captain America and Red Skull.

These substitute for all regular symbols and launch all manner of animated goodness across the reels to increase your wins.

  • Expanding Cloning Wilds
  • Sparks (NetEnt)

Not content with Expanding Wilds, some developers have brought the feature on to reward players with even bigger wins.

NetEnt's new Sparks slot makes full use of the 'ambient' graphics and animation in its Expanding Cloning Wild. In this feature, Wild symbols appear on Reels 2 and 4 only.

When it does appear, it will either stay as a single symbol or expand up or down (or both) to fill a whole reel. It then clones the symbols on the reel to the left and replicates them on the reel to the right. Obviously, this then forms winning paylines consisting of at least three matching symbols.

Like Expanding Wilds? Try These...

Expanding Wilds can provide some welcome bonus cashes during a base game, or add an exciting element to a bonus feature like Free Spins.

The best thing about Expanding Wilds is that they can appear in both low and high-volatility slots online. Give some free-play games a try at and see for yourself.

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